[Review] - Hannibal, Season 2 Episode 6, "Futamono"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
I watched two films last Friday. One was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the other was the newest episode of Hannibal. After one, I was confused and distraught and more than a little disappointed. The other had me yelling at the screen, dancing in my seat, and left me breathless afterwards. One was stylized, but empty. The other was stylish, and imbued with intent. One nearly ruined my evening, the other raised it to salvation. And I never would have guessed that the latter of each of these examples was the TV show on NBC.

Talk about a wallop. After an episode last week that I (and I alone, apparently) reacted less than warmly too, this week made up for it by unleashing the full might of both Hannibal and Hannibal. It was a mythology heavy episode, drawing on the established past and the presumptive future. It wove itself around the narrative like a snake constricting it's prey, than squoze out shock after twist after surprise.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers which off their compliments to the chef.

"The Chesapeake Ripper is killing again, and Hannibal Lecter is throwing a dinner party." This episode had pretty much everything you could ask for from an episode that has been as consistently good for so long. Threads were woven together, and some characters actually managed to get a glimpse of the larger picture before being cut off. But most excitingly (at first) was that Jack, finally, in the face of mounting evidence, agreed that Will was not the Ripper. And in the void that his innocence created, began to earnestly suspect Hannibal. While we might have been screaming "took you long enough," at the screen, Hannibal has done and continues to cover his tracks very well. Even here, where Jack's suspicions each a fever pitch, Hannibal has the foresight to hide in plain sight.

So much happened here, and all of it stylishly done. I remember, as the buds began to form in Lecter's music notes to transition into the tree that contained his victim, saying out loud, "oh, this show..." Like those buds, this show blossoms only when the flower is ready for the light, never before. Able Gideon, whose reappearance last week put me a slight ill ease, but was a happy return none the less, began to understand how limited his return truly was. It's a shame that he's now well and truly beyond returning, because the scenes shared with Izzard and the rest of the cast were marvelous.

He and Mads had a particular report, that same that I had noted that existed between Mads and Anderson. The pauses between their heavy words that spoke more than any dialogue. The creeping smiles and hardened glances. This show is defined by the silence it refuses to fill. Other shows insist on filling moments with noise, with prattle. Hannibal exists in a vacuum, broken by pockets of hypnotic poetry. And I include the visuals in that as well. The tart, crisp colours must be how the worlds looks on LSD.

While Jack begins to look at his "great friend" in a new, more Will-tinted light, increasingly disgusted at his suspicions (that scene where he watched party guests chew Hannibal's offerings in slow motion was particularly horrific), Hannibal ran his own game on Alana. He cautioned Will that his meddling would force his hand, but it was a different kind of hunt that he was on. It was the first time we've seen Hannibal exhibit a preference. Rather than present the character as asexual, I've always considered him more omnisexual. His obsessions with Will, with Abigail, with Jack have seemed to transcend pure attraction.

He is driven by curiosity when it comes to people, and passion when it comes to art (the first canon appearance of his harpsichord gave the episode a lovely tone). So, while he feels for Alana, his conquest was only in the name of preserving his passions. It manipulates her, Will, Jack (the look on his face when she provides Hannibal an alibi was perfect), protects his identity and allows him to bring Gideon back into his fold. It also establishes that Hannibal can endure human behaviour in all manners, something that will be important far far down the road.

It wasn't the only call forward to the novel Hannibal, a source they are taking more and more from this season. The harpsichord, the sexual discovery, and the final reveal, which sprung me out of my seat. Miriam Lass, alive and mostly whole, but alive and well. Who saw that coming? But Hannibal is too careful, too exact not to leave something like Miriam to chance. Anyone who has read the novels will probably join me in assuming that Hannibal's hypnotic manipulations are probably involved (he already displayed them to a degree with Will last year). It's best to establish that now, and to drive another psychological distraction into Jack's line of sight.

We also had the first use of Hannibal The Cannibal, from none other than Chilton. And may I throw my support behind adding Raúl Esparza to the noticeable gap now present in the opening credits. The man deserves the promotion to series regular, and will be playing a role in the larger story for some time yet, I would assume and hope. Chilton might be the comedic effect, but he's proving to be more perceptive than we've given him credit for. He has pretty much entirely come around to Will's way of thinking, and views Hannibal entirely as an uncaged beast. And with half of the season done, that view will become more and more then norm from here on out.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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